What Are We Reading? November 4, 2014

Welcome to a special Election Day “What Are We Reading”!

  • Jeanette:
    • “We finished watching the Northern Exposure TV Series – found the last season to be a little silly – stretching for story lines after Rob Morrow aka Dr. Joel Fleischman left. Actually there were a few long boring episodes before he finally left too! Got tired of his kvetching and whining!”
    • The Beekeeper’s Apprentice [sound recording] / Laurie R. King
      “Really liked this book – I listened to it on CD’s – I got to disc #11 and the murderer was getting ready to strike – put in the final disc only to find it wouldn’t play because there was a crack in it! Talk about suspense…Couldn’t wait to get a replacement so I could finish it. So many adaptations about Sherlock Holmes between books, movies and television, it was fun to look at it how his “apprentice” coped with him. Looking forward to more of the Mary Russell mysteries.”
    • Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin “Really Liked this book. I didn’t realize that Alice “from” Wonderland was based on a real girl! This was a Fascinating Read! I may have to read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll one of these days.”
    • Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos “Interesting but a little weird. Story about three siblings who grew up grieving about their mother’s disappearance when they were children.”
    • The Autistic Brain by Temple Grandin “Excellent book by someone who really knows the meaning of the word “Spectrum” she experienced many of them.”
    • The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida “Another good book about autism – a memoir by a 13 year old boy with autism. He answers a lot of questions.”
    • The Farm by Tom Rob Smith “Started reading this then realized I had the wrong book – I meant to request
      My Gentle Barn : Creating a Sanctuary where Animals Heal and Children Learn to Hope by Ellie Laks. Couldn’t get into the story family problems etc etc…so gave up on The Farm and will wait for My Gentle Barn.”

    “I read or at least started to read 3 books with the word ‘Other’ in the title – Don’t think I’ll look for others!”

    • The Other by David Guterson “Didn’t get too far into this one – maybe another time. John William Barry from a wealthy Seattle family, drops out of college and moves into the woods to disappear. He enlists the help of Neils Countryman from Ireland, who shared the love of the outdoors with John to help.”
    • The Other Story by Tatiana de Rosnay (author of Sarah’s Key “This was the story about a young man who found secrets about his past that lead to changes in his life.
      Didn’t finish this one either.”
    • The Other Typist: a Novel by Suzanne Rindell “Liked the old time references to typing pools and old manual typewriters – brought back memories. The story set in the 1920’s is about a typist for the NY City Police Department – who is influenced by another typing pool member into the world of speakeasies etc after work.”
  • Virginia:
    • Behind the Gates of Gomorrah: a Year with the Criminally Insane by Stephen Seager. “This is a very interesting book written by a psychiatrist working at Napa State mental hospital in California. The constant violence is not surprising but the fact that medical professionals endure and thrive in this atmosphere is very impressive. Dr. Seager chronicles his nail-biting rookie year at a hospital for criminals judged too insane to stand trial for their horrific crimes as he uneasily comes to care about mass murderers.”

    • Time Has Come by Jim Bakker. “As a Pre-Trib believer I was initially disappointed that this excellent book of bible prophecy is Post-Trib. Jim Bakker (of Jim & Tammy Bakker fame) explains his reasons for turning away from PreTribulation beliefs. I was interested in his reasoning but ultimately found it unconvincing. The book is very informative in translating various aspects of Revelation from the Greek. I’m waiting to read the library’s commentaries David Jeremiah’s Agents of the Apocalypse & Mark Hitchcock’s Blood Moons Rising“.
    • The Golem of Hollywood by Jonathan Kellerman & his son Jesse. “This is a totally weird book & very difficult to categorize. Kellerman (who has written many thrillers featuring Dr. Alex Delaware) has struck out in a different direction. The book is part thriller & part supernatural with an alcoholic LA police detective who is chosen to solve a peculiar murder of a serial killer because he is Jewish. The crime scene has a Hebrew word for ‘Justice’ left behind with a severed head. The chapters alternate with a tale of ancient biblical times set in Genesis which develops into a supernatural story of vengeance & revenge. The interesting thing is that these 2 stories seem to have nothing to do with one another yet by the conclusion vengeance of biblical proportions shows up in modern day LA. Well written, it features Kellerman’s spare narration & sly sense of humor.”
  • Laura: “I’m currently reading Lucky Us by Amy Bloom. I was a great fan of her book, Away. I enjoy her brand of historical fiction. I’m also reading Screwdrivered by Alice Clayton, a romance featuring a straight laced librarian as one third of a love triangle. It’s absurd and a little blush inducing but fun. I’m listening to the album Men of Steel: 50 Great Superhero Themes courtesy of the library’s Hoopla subscription.”
  • Maureen:
    • The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan “It’s the 1950s and times are tight for the Ryan family with ten kids , the Mom helps to keep poverty at bay by entering contests and winning all types of prizes. She won everything from candy bars, appliances, shopping sprees and cars to a cash prize that enabled her to put a down payment on a house just as they were being evicted from their two bedroom rental house .Evelyn Ryan had great spirit and a phenomenal sense of humor which she passed on to her kids. Terry Ryan has written a wonderful tribute to her Mother, a woman who was determined to do what ever it took to keep her family afloat and to do it in a positive upbeat way. This is Non-Fiction that reads like Fiction and will stay with you long after you close the book.”
    • The Dark Winter by David Mark “A new British crime series introduces us to Det. Sgt. Aector McAvoy, originally from the Scottish Highlands now residing in the bleak port city town of Hull in Yorkshire. McAvoy is a gentle giant who is on the Crime squad when a teenage girl is savagely murdered in Hull’s most historic church, and it is Aector who discovers that the girl and subsequent victims were all survivors of previous fatal tragedies. It is a fast paced novel with well developed characters and now I’m moving on to #2 Original Skin.”
    • The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell “It is a well written story with great character development.The Bird family grew up in in a picture perfect home in the idyllic Cotswolds in England, with their mother, Lorelei and father, Colin. Easter Egg hunts were a tradition and as time moved on, Lorelei seems unable to let go of even the tiniest trinket that belonged to her children and as a result her home becomes a prison filled with stuff she has hoarded over the years. After her death her adult children are left with the task of cleaning out their childhood home and unraveling the mystery of why their Mother became such a hoarder. It is a creative storyline with unconventional characters that compel you to finish reading to see how they all turned out.”
    • Currently reading The Long Way Home: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny “I’ve just started it but as expected Penny writes about complex characters dealing with complex emotional issues in the most perfect village in the world. Oh to live in Three Pines and have a café au lait sitting by the fire in the Bistro…doesn’t get any better than that!”
    • Just finished listening to The View from Penthouse B by Elinor Lipman (Digital download) “Two sisters, Gwen, widowed, and Margot , divorced, join forces and become roommates in Margot’s luxurious Greenwich Village apartment, that she can no longer afford thanks to Bernie Madoff. They take in a third roommate, the affable Anthony who likes to bake cupcakes and has lost his job with Lehman Brothers. Basically it is a story about starting over and figuring out life in the 21st Century. It is really enjoyable because of the humor and characters. A nice light read.”
  • Nancy D.: Nancy has just finished The Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue and Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom.
  • Todd: Todd is listening to Lagwagon’s new album Hang via the Library’s account to Freegal and is reading Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill. He also watched the movie Witching and Bitching. “It’s very strange Spanish film that has a great mix of horror and comedy.”
  • Pat A:
    • “Just finished Five Days Left by Julie Lawson Timmer (recommended by our co-worker, Anne). It is the story of a woman who has Huntington’s disease and her decision to give herself five days when her disease progresses to a certain point, and a man who has a foster child who needs to be returned in five days. Great characters.”
    • “I am now reading The Fault In Our Stars. A simple touching story of two teenagers struggling with disease. I wanted to read it before seeing the movie.”
  • Janice: “I read The Complete Gone With the Wind Trivia Book, by Pauline Bartel. The highest-grossing film of all time (adjusted for inflation) has inspired this 2nd edition of a fun book packed with everything “Windies” have to know. Just one example: Arguably the most famous dress in film history is the green velvet “drapery dress” Mammy fashioned for Scarlet out of her mother Ellen’s portiers. It was intended to work magic on Rhett so Scarlett could get the $300 in tax money for Tara. The scene spawned an iconic parody by Carol Burnett and Harvey Korman with the line “I saw it in a window, and I just couldn’t resist it.” In 2009 Carol and designer Bob Mackie donated the costume to the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History.”

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